Elisa Gueneau

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Elisa’s family has been in Sancerre since before they kept records… a long time. The family has been farming ever since and wine as always been a part, small at the beginning, of the farm. It is Elisa’s father Alain who started to focus only on wine in 1970.

The Gueneau estate is comprised of 35 acres of vineyards planted on the rather steep slopes that surround the villages of Sury-en-Vaux, Chavignol, and Sancerre. 80% of the vines are planted in the calcareous clay soils known locally as “terres blanches,” which give the wine its body, richness, and complexity. The other 20% are planted in “caillottes” also referred to as “griottes,” stony soils that lend lovely fruity notes to the wine. Sauvignon Blanc represents 75% of the production. The red and rosé are made from Pinot Noir. All is done with an environmentally responsible approach to preserve this terroir, an irreplaceable source of such flavorful wines.

Working the land, taking care of the soil…daily Elisa strives to find the balance between the vines’ needs and respect of the terroir which has been so generously given to us by Mother Nature. A well-thought-out approach is her priority! She observes her plots throughout the year to care for them as best possible. To respect nature and the environment, she keeps grass between her rows of vines and she works the soil around the base of the vines.

Wines from Elisa Gueneau

Elisa Gueneau Sancerre Blanc Les Griottes

Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Aging: 8 months in stainless steel tanks on its lees

This small-production wine comes from a single 30+ year-old vineyard on caillottes soils in the village of Chavignol, one of the finest terroirs in Sancerre. Bright and crisp, with aromas of citrus, white peach, apricot, and green apple. The lively palate is strongly reminiscent of the beautiful nose and is shot through with chalky minerality and a mischievous acidity that both help to prolong the lingering, citrusy finish. Enjoy by itself or with all your seafood dishes over the next three to five years.

Elisa Gueneau Sancerre Blanc Terres Blanches

Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Aging: 8 months in stainless steel tanks on its lees

Here you have a bodybuilder on a tight rope. Fruits are prominent with white grapefruit juice, underripe papaya, and cactus pear. The acid is precise and prickly, bruised sage and resinous hoppy herbaceousness persist. Shiny white stone finish.

Elisa Gueneau Sancerre Rouge Terres de Fossiles

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: 10 months (50% stainless and 50% French oak barrels)

Elisa Gueneau hands this minuscule production wine from 25-year-old vines growing on thick limestone soils. The ruby color with garnet-red highlights immediately conveys the unusual seriousness of this Sancerre rouge. The nose rushes to envelop you in intense and complex aromas of black cherry, blackberry, wormwood, cacao, and a little toast. The palate carries over the aromas and nestles them amid a voluminous body and plenty of soft, silky tannins. The finish really kicks up that telltale earthy Sancerre base, followed by notes of cherries in brandy, tobacco leaves, and nutmeg. This drinks well now and will continue to develop through at least 2024.

Elisa Gueneau Sancerre Rosé Chavignolet

Blend: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: 5 months in stainless steel tanks on its lees

Elisa Gueneau’s very limited production rosé is a standout in Sancerre for the way it so clearly reflects both the terroir and the more delicate qualities of pinot noir. Rose petal, strawberry, and citrus aromas carry over to the soft palate, enhanced by a nervy zip and a crack of chalky soil on their way to a notably long finish redolent of red fruit and sweet flowers. Drink within the next 3 years by itself or with light fare.